This is exactly the reaction I got from Susan when I asked her, “how’s your website’s development going?” Total frustration! Her reply was something like, “which version?”.
Susan is an entrepreneur and she recently started a recruitment firm. A friend recommended her to meet me to get help with her website project.
“All I needed was a SIMPLE, professional looking website for my company”, she complained when we sat down with our coffee. “I’ve paid THREE different companies to design my site. 3 months … and still not ready to launch!”
She turned her laptop to show me the last version, and I literally gasped. I was HORRIFIED to see how terribly it was designed – clashing colours, half a dozen different fonts, poor legibility, and confusing navigation. I spotted many other flaws as I navigated the pages – broken links, cheap looking free stock images, inconsistent alignment of text and what not. No wonder Susan was SO frustrated!
She isn’t the only one, tho’. I regularly hear horror stories about frustratingly long delays and failed website projects that cost thousands of dirhams to new business owners.
So how do you save yourself from all this frustration?
I’ll give you my top 5 tips to consider when you’re choosing a web design company in Dubai, to build your website.
1. Ask the right questions.
I always stress the importance of asking good questions before you hire anyone to work on your website. More than any other question, this question will help you quickly differentiate between experienced web designers and novices. “What is your approach to usability?
Asking about usability will help you understand the company’s focus – namely, whether or not they have the most important thing in mind: the visitor.
Best answer could be something like this:
“I’m thrilled you asked! We believe in user-centered design, and we conduct usability testing whenever possible. We’re visitor advocates and will defend their interests with concrete evidence and research.”
More questions to ask: How will my website convert? Will it be responsive? Will there be a CMS? Will you train us on how to update the website?
2. Be cautious if they don’t ask you questions about your business.
Your web design company should ask you lots of questions, especially before they start working on your project. They should ask everything about your 3C’s (Company, Competitors, and Clients). Questions should start during the initial sales meetings and kickoff meeting, and then continue throughout the strategy phase of your project. No questions is a RED FLAG and the sign of a terrible web design company.
3. Make sure they’ll be here for you in 5 years.
This is the most common problem I hear from new clients. They went to someone that was cheap, and/or someone they knew. Maybe they even tried outsourcing it overseas to get a deal. Either way, it’s a year later and they can’t get in touch with the developer and have no access to anything they paid for. Do yourself a favor and work with an established, financially-stable company that wants to build a lasting, long-term relationship with your business.
4. Never hire anyone you can’t fire.
Your web designer is related to you. You should know better than to hire a relative to work for you in the first place, let alone build your website. However, if you do decide to hire a family member to build your website, they will probably give you an “unbelievable” discount. If they’re a pro, that’s great news; however, the bad news is that the project eventually won’t be worth their time, and you will eventually end up on the back burner. So please avoid hiring relatives to work on your website.
5. Don’t work with dirt cheap.
Your website is one of the most vital pieces of your business. This is not an area where you can afford to cut corners. When a web design company tells you they’ll build a custom website at very cheap rates, they really mean they’ll drag and drop your text and logo into a $50 WordPress theme that 12,000 other websites use. Some things will work, some won’t. But they don’t care about that and won’t fix it for you. If you want a website that’s going to work for your business, you have to be willing to invest in it. A great website will yield a high return on investment. A bad website will destroy your business’s first impression and won’t convert.
Your website is crucial to the success of your business, and the time you spend being picky when selecting a web development agency in the beginning will pay off big time down the road.